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The Amalgamated Association of Street and Electrical Railway Employees of America (AASEREA), Local 241 was chartered on 1 April 1902 in Chicago, Illinois. The AASEREA, itself, was founded ten years before in Indianapolis, Indiana. Street railway employees had been trying to organize since the late 1880s, but it took Samuel Gompers, of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), to become involved to get the union off the ground.
In 1958, Division 241 members earned up to $2.52 per hour, which was up one dollar an hour from the late 1940s. The reason for the steady, if not sharp, wage increase of nearly one dollar over the previous decade was that the union's president had encouraged unions to negotiate cost-of-living raises based upon the consumer index. The wage made Chicago drivers the best paid in the union.
(Sources: About Local 241. (n.d.). Local 241 Amalgamated Transit Union AFL-CIO/CLC. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from http://transitweb.atu.org/sites/midwest/local241/index.cfm?action=article&articleID=f5a1e1d2-80dd-442c-9b5c-9fd2d5700374; Amalgamated Transit Union Staff. (1992). A history of the Amalgamated Transit Union. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from http://www.atu.org/atu-pdfs/conventiondocs/convention-docs/History-of-the-ATU.pdf.)